Alternator belt broke - OK to drive short distance?

Tiny
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  • DODGE NEON

The car is a 2000 Dodge Neon with an automatic transmission and about 80K miles. Engine size (not 100% certain) 4-2.0L FI

First, please bear in mind that I'm not really all that knowledgeable about this stuff, so please be gentle. :)

We had problems getting it started after it sat for a week and a half and with a friend's help I've determined that both the Alternator and the Battery need to be replaced (The belt for the Alternator has broken and the Alternator cannot be spun manually).

I've already spoken with a local repair shop that specializes in the electrical systems in automobiles and I need to get the car there.

The repair shop is not far away (less than 1/2 mile). Because I have to buy a new battery anyway, my hope is that I can put in the new battery and use that to drive it to the shop, thus avoiding the need to arrange (and pay for) a tow.

One concern that's been brought up is that it may have been a serpentine built that drives more than just the Alternator and if so, it may not be drivable regardless of the situation with the battery.

The belt that broke was about 2 feet long extended. About 1/2" wide and rough on the inside with several deep grooves on the outside.

How can I easily tell if I'll be able to safely drive the car the short distance to the shop without that belt in place.

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 10:35 AM

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Tiny
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Based on what I'm seeing, it should be okay. I would call the shop and get their opinion first.

It looks like the worst thing that may happen depending on which 2.0 it is, is that it may not allow the a/c to work.

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 12:43 PM
Tiny
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I did speak with the owner of the shop I'll be bringing it to - gave him the background as well and he said it was possible that the water pump would not operate properly either with the belt out but that it should be OK for such a short drive.

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 1:07 PM
Tiny
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The water pump is driven by the timing belt. If the water pump was not able to function, I wouldn't attempt it, but it should be working.

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 2:11 PM

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